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Hawksbill Turtle

Hawksbill Turtle

Eretmochelys imbricata

The Hawksbill Turtle's sharp curving beak is a distinguishing feature from other sea turtles. They also have a pair of claws on each flipper.

Hawksbills are omnivorous and feed mainly on sponges, but also on corals, crustaceans, molluscs, and a variety of other marine life.
They can be found in coastal lagoons and tropical reefs, although being migratory, they also live in the open oceans.

As fully grown Sea turtles go, the Hawksbill is comparatively small, growing to approximately 4 ft in length, and weighing around 70 kilograms.

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle has a status listing of 'Critically Endangered' on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

The main threat to this species is from human fishing, both targeting the turtle for its shell or meat, as well as a by-catch from nets. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) bans the capture and trade in this species and any products from them.

They have a global distribution in tropical and sub-tropical waters.

Further conservation information:  Wildlife Direct - Hawksbill Turtle conservation


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Swahili Coast Natural History Reading List

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